Cat Eye Discharge: When Should You See a Vet?

All body parts of a cat can become infected or suffer from a health condition. These vary greatly in severity from minor illnesses to life-threatening conditions. One problem from which a cat may suffer is cat eye discharge. If this is a problem that your cat is currently experiencing, then you need to know the potential causes, whether it is serious, and if it is something that requires treatment from a vet. Here is what you need to know about cat eye discharge.

What is Cat Eye Discharge?

Cats have tear ducts that create tears to clean and protect the eyes. If the tear ducts become irritated in any way, the production of tears increases and the eyes will look weepy. An infection can lead to abnormal discharge in the eyes that can vary significantly in color and consistency. This discharge will often dry around the eyes giving them a crusty appearance.

What Are the Possible Causes of Eye Discharge in Cats?

There are many different causes of eye discharge. One of the most common is some form of irritation that leads to weepy eyes. Another common cause is a bacterial infection of either the tear ducts or another part of the eye. A further reason why a cat may have eye discharge is that there is a small foreign body in their eye.

Is This Serious?

In most instances, cat eye discharge is not serious. An irritation will usually clear up itself without the need for any treatment. Similarly, most bacterial infections are easily and quickly treated. Even small foreign bodies will not pose a huge problem in most cases as the cat’s eyes will produce extra tears to help eliminate the foreign body from the eye. However, some infections can become serious and need further treatment to prevent them from worsening and causing other problems. Also, eye discharge is occasionally a sign that the cat has an underlying health condition.

Are Some Cats More Prone to Eye Discharge Than Others?

There are some breeds of cat that are more prone to experiencing pro0blems with their eyes than others. This is because of the shape of their face. Examples of cats that are prone to eye problems include Himalayas and Persians. If you have one of these breeds, then you should expect them to have a little discharge from time to time. However, if there is more than usual or becomes excessive, then you need to see the vet.

Do They Need to See a Vet?

While a little cat eye discharge is often nothing to worry about, there are times when you will need to see a vet. Any discharge that is yellow or green is not normal. This is generally a sign that there is an infection present. This is something that you will definitely need to see your vet about so that they can examine your cat’s eyes and they will probably prescribe medication. Another sign that indicates your cat needs to see the vet is if there is redness around any part of the eye as this means that the eye or its surrounding tissues are inflamed. Finally, if the eyes are weeping excessively and you need to wipe them more than twice daily, you will need an appointment with the vet.

How is Eye Discharge Treated?

Sometimes, little more than cleaning the eyes with water on a cotton bud is needed to clear the eyes of any gunk. However, if the cause is a bacterial infection, then a vet may prescribe an antibiotic cream or drops that you will need to put into the cat’s eyes each day. Most cats will not enjoy this process, but it is necessary to prevent the infection from getting any worse. For serious infections, the vet may also prescribe a course of oral antibiotics. If the cause of the discharge is a foreign body in the eye and the cat’s eye has been unable to expel this through the increased production of tears, it may be necessary for the vet to manually remove the foreign body from their eye.

Preventing Eye Problems

If your cat is prone to eye problems, then you can reduce the risk of them developing eye problems regularly by keeping this part of their body clean. Use a clean wet cloth or water on a cotton bud to wipe and small amounts of discharge away from the eye.


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